Two brave best friends will be missed
- Belgian Shepherd
- Born March 9, 2008
- Born into the RAAF puppy program and raised and mentored by an Air Force dog handler until 2011.
- Trialled in early-mid 2011 and posted to the SASR.
- Deployed to Afghanistan from September to December 2011.
- Deployed again to Afghanistan in February 2012 and was killed in action on June 25.
With the return of the latest Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) rotation, details have emerged of two Special Operations Military Working Dogs’ (SOMWD) heroic actions before they were killed during Special Forces missions in Afghanistan.
Quake and Devil were Belgian Shepherds posted to Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) with distinguished records of service detecting enemy positions and equipment on operations in Afghanistan.
SOTG personnel credited the dogs with saving the lives of their handlers and patrol members with their actions during countless missions.
- Belgian Shepherd
- Born April 14, 2009
- Raised and trained by a civilian breeder until 2010.
- Trialled in mid-late 2010 and posted to the SASR.
- Deployed to Afghanistan in February last year with SOTG rotation 15.
- Deployed again to Afghanistan in February 2012 and was killed in action on July 2.
Devil was shot by an insurgent on July 2 during the same mission in which SASR’s SGT Blaine Diddams was killed.
During the mission, Devil provided early warning of an enemy fighting position.
A firefight ensued between the SOTG patrol and the insurgents, during which Devil was targeted by an insurgent at close range and killed instantly by small-arms fire.
Quake was killed a week earlier in a similar situation during an SOTG mission on June 25.
During the mission, he provided early warning of an enemy sentry position.
The insurgent engaged Quake at close range with small-arms fire, killing him.
Quake’s actions saved the lives of his handler and the other members of the patrol who were approaching the position.
Quake was instrumental in informing the SOTG patrol of insurgent actions and also supported SOTG tactical action with great distinction, allowing the SOTG patrol to engage and kill several enemy personnel. Both dogs were on their second tour of duty in Afghanistan when they were killed.
Devil first deployed to Afghanistan with SOTG last February. He deployed on his second tour in February this year with a new handler.
Quake deployed on his first Afghanistan tour last September to replace another SOMWD that was wounded in action.
Quake returned to Australia last December and redeployed for his second tour in February this year.
At the time of the dogs’ deaths, Commanding Officer SOTG LTCOL J said their loss would have a big impact on the task group.
“Personnel who work closely with our dogs form extremely close bonds with them so these deaths will affect them,” he said.
“These dogs were much loved members of the SOTG and they will be sorely missed.”